MANILA (Mabuhay) – An administration ally on Tuesday ruled out the possibility of Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II sliding down to a vice presidential candidate in the 2016 elections, saying it is only part of a plan to demolish his possible presidential bid.
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said talk of Roxas settling for a vice presidential run was part of his opponents’ ploy to portray him as a “weak” presidential candidate.
“His detractors want to convince the voters to shun a ‘non-winner,’” he said in a text message.
Evardone, however, said questions about Roxas’ competence can easily be resolved by examining his track record as a public official.
“[He is] an incorruptible leader,” he said.
Talk about Roxas sliding down to run for vice president surfaced after the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that some Liberal Party stalwarts were pushing for a Poe-Roxas tandem in the 2016 elections.
Another Inquirer report quoted Budget Secretary Florencio Abad as saying that the ruling party was open to a number of possibilities “considering the unpredictable nature of Philippine presidential politics.” The report indicated that the possibilities included a Poe-Roxas tandem.
Roxas has long been touted as the LP’s presumptive presidential candidate even though he has yet to announce his political plans for 2016. He backed out of his presidential bid in 2010 to give way to now-President Benigno Aquino III’s candidacy.
Poe, on the other hand, maintained that she was still undecided about running for higher office. She has confirmed meeting Aquino recently to discuss the administration’s political plans.
Evardone also parried questions about Poe’s citizenship as a “non-issue” compared to the issue of corruption.
“By bringing up the issue of citizenship against Poe, her detractors hope it would create doubts in the minds of the electorate,” the lawmaker said.
Poe on Monday admitted she used to hold dual citizenship after a broadsheet reported the existence of a US passport under her name.
The senator, however, said she already renounced her US citizenship even before she entered government service and become chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).(MNS)